Covid NSW: Daily cases surge beyond 450

·News Reporter
·3-min read
  • NSW reports 466 new cases of coronavirus and four deaths

  • Premier Gladys Berejiklian reveals new lockdown rules and fines

  • Armidale lockdown extended by one week

NSW has entered uncharted territory once again, surpassing 400 daily Covid-19 cases for the first time since the pandemic began. 

Known daily locally acquired infections surged to 466 and worryingly, Premier Gladys Berejiklian feared the situation will only get worse.

"This is the largest jump we have seen in a night and it's fair to say that we are... extremely concerned about the situation that we're in in New South Wales," she told reporters.

She said it was the most concerning day of the pandemic yet.

A. side profile of Gladys Berejiklian at a press conference.
Earlier this month Premier Gladys Berejiklian set an ambitious target of six million jabs for August. Source: Getty

A further four deaths were reported. The deaths, a woman in her 40s, a man in his 70s, a man in his 80s and a woman in her 70s, have taken the outbreak's death toll to 43.

Ms Berejiklian said the western suburbs of Blacktown, Doonside, Mount Druitt, Merrylands, Guildford and Auburn were seeing a surge in cases.

New lockdown rules and fines

In a bid to crack down on a small minority flouting public health orders, she announced additional rules and fines to curb the number of people doing the wrong thing.

  • Anyone breaching quarantine or lying to contact tracers can now face a fine of $5000. 

  • People will need a permit to enter regional NSW and lying to acquire one will be fined $5000. 

  • Unlawfully entering regional NSW will result in a $3000. 

  • Breaching the two-person exercise rule will bring a fine of $3000. 

A bullish NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said it was time to crack down.

"We will be policing much harder over the next 21 days and I do not apologise for that," he said.

"Please don't write in and complain to me, we have given ample warnings and cautions, and that time has gone."

Residents in Greater Sydney will now only be able to travel five kilometres from their homes.

Singles in local government areas of concern will need to formally nominate a bubble partner and that partner must be living within 5km of them.

The crackdown, named Operation Stay At Home, will commence at midnight Sunday with an additional 500 ADF officers.

Armidale lockdown extended despite zero cases

The virus continues to run rampant in regional NSW with 13 new cases recorded in the Hunter New England area overnight. 

There have been no new cases in Armadale, Tamworth and the Northern Rivers communities.

However the Premier announced Armidale will remain in lockdown for another seven days to ensure the virus isn't circulating undetected. 

"So while those three areas have had zero cases, the community of Armadale will be asked to stay in lockdown for at least the next week," she said. 

On Saturday, the ACT, which entered lockdown on Friday, recorded one further case, with seven active cases altogether.

NSW hits vaccine milestone 

Vaccines rates across NSW are rising rapidly as the state battles the highly-infectious Delta variant. 

The Premier confirmed 50 per cent of the adult population has now received the first dose of the vaccine. 

"We know that the lockdown, coupled with a strong targeted vaccination program is what will get us out of this dire situation. Vaccination is key," Ms Berejiklian said. 

Ms Berejiklian has set an ambitious vaccine target for NSW to hit 6 million jabs by the end of August, which would mean roughly half the state's population would have one or two doses.

"When we get to the 80 per cent double doses, we will start to count the number of people in hospital as the as opposed to the number of cases, because really, what is important to us during the pandemic is to save lives, save health, but also save livelihoods, and if that balance that we need to strike."

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